tv This Is America With Dennis Wholey WHUT November 13, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
>> recently, "this is america" visit in the republic of cassocks and in central asia. kazakhstan was one of the countries formed by the breakup of the soviet union and is one of the most successful of them all. on december 16, kazakhstan celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence. it is the ninth largest country in the world and its location, oil and mineral wealth and government's vision have all contributed to its rapid growth. internationally, tajikistan is a world leader in the goal of eradicating nuclear weapons on earth.
it is a beautiful country of snowcapped mountains, a vast regions and desert and both historic and his futuristic cities. with a population of 16.5 million people, kazakhstan is home to more than 100 different ethnic groups resulting in an incredibly rich and diverse culture. over the next few programs, "this is america" will take a look at the people, culture, government, economy, and sites of kazakhstan. we will also look at the importance of cassocks than in the region and its relationship with the united states. "this is america" visits the republic of tajikistan. -- kazakhstan. "this is america" is made possible by --
the old capital city is home to culture and education, while the new capital city is home to the government. we visited a huge, old world market. they call it the green bazaar, selling all kinds of produce and goods. our translator explains. >> we are currently in the center of the agricultural markets where you can buy fruits, vegetables, spices, appetizers, and meat. it is a multinational place. a lot of ethnic groups and minorities are represented here. many of them filling their traditional gaps. for example, they sell different spices.
they sell different swedes, nets, and a dried berries. >> we discovered a different shopping experience in the largest tent of the world, designed to replicate a traditional kazakh home. it even has its very own and indoor beach. it is similar to what we find in american malls, but this one has a few extra perks. >> kazakhstan is a huge country and business activity is very diverse. financial and knowledge centers in the east, old world fishing and new world oil in the west. traditional cause of music, we found that of course, in a restaurant.
however, at the magnificent opera house, there is the international music of opera. if you want traditional cuisine, you can find that right in downtown, but you will not be far away from the most popular coffee shop in town. >> right now, we are in the so- called old center of the city. this is the oldest and most culturally developed part of the city. most of the buildings were built right after the world war ii era. this is the oldest and most popular coffee shop in our city. this is where businessmen, important people for our city, prefer to spend their time to have fun, rest, have dinner, or make this this conversation. >> kazakhstan is steeped in an amazing history of nomads, the
silk road, the soviet union, and now, independence. to learn more, we did in the ministry of culture. >> if we turn the clock back hundreds of years, thousands of years, how many people might have been in this area that we would call nomad's? >> the nomadic people cannot be compared with the size of more than state, of course. thousands of people used to live in the turkish empire. we can say on the size of the nomadic population, based on the size of the army, and there were thousands of people in the army through those years. we can say even the size reached the millions. >> i want to put three ideas
together, that kazakhs were nomadic people, great warriors, and also the weather, which can be very hot and very, very cold. how does this all come together and play a role in the culture of kazakhstan today? >> you are absolutely right. let me focus on some of the features of kazakhs. nomadic style played an important and unique role, was significant for kazakhstan. the culture was mostly oral culture. peeper were good storytellers and those stories are kept in the members of kazakhs. many of those who started kazakh culture know that the people are very goodt asic.
they have very goodt musical abilities. was noted by many of those who started kazakh. another feature which was also impacted, which was the result of pneumatics -- nomadic people was the openness and tolerance of hospitality. >> this area, kazakhstan today, just 20 years old, 20th anniversary, heavy soviet and russian influence. is that correct? >> the elder generation, for example, was more infected by the style. they still keep some values and heritage from the soviet times, although, we have to admit that everything should be rejected from soviet times. there were some values that still continue to play an important role. for example, friendship, unity,
and good relationships between different ethnicities. >> my reading says kazakhs invented the horse, the tulip, and the apple. i said that as a joke, that they invented it, but they did come from here, didn't they? the domestication of the horse. >> i think you are right, it is historical fact that was recognized by british scientists that kazakhstan is the motherland of apples. this is true by the name of the city, which has apple in its name. also, in the old name of the city, some people say -- which also has apple in it. tulips, even dutch people
recognize, they have beautiful tulips, originated from kazakhstan. of course, horses, our ancestors liked horses, and there were integral with horses. meansr fee kazakh loving person. freedom is sometng that cannot available without a horse riding. so horses and freedom, we love to be free. that is something which is integral. >> to experience the rich culture of kazakhstan, we visited two major museums. is there an official name for the museum? >> the official title of the museum is the central state museum of the republic of kazakhstan. >> is the building, which is so magnificent, an old building or
new building? >> from the context on standpoint, it was an old building, built in 1985. but the museum itself has 180 years of history. >> what is the number one important exhibit we will look at? >> one of the crucial exhibits is what we call archaeological gold, which originates from the early iron age. there, we have a collection of jewelry that originates from practically all over the republic. >> [speaking foreign language] >> this is what we call the headband, found in 1939.
it dates back to the second century before christ. it represents the culture of the nomads. it was found in the vicinity. >> these dagger's date back to the 17th, early 18th century. these are not combat weapons. this is a ceremonial symbol of royal power. they were possessed by ce huns. >> is this truly the cultural capital of kazakhstan? is that fair to say? >> absolutely. it is not the capital of kazakhstan but it is still considered the cultural capital because here is located a lot of museums, theaters, different
institutions that influence the cultural development of kazakhstan. >> tell me about the mission of the museum. >> the mission is to preserve, collect, and research their artifacts of kazakhstan and the condition of the world. >> how about the relationship of your museum here with the smithsonian in washington? >> it is a mutually beneficial project. american partners will bring us their technologies in computer development for our museum. they provide some artifacts and materials for research and study. >> what do you see as the future of contemporary art for kazakhstan over the next 15 years? will we get to know more of it in the west? >> i do not like very much the
term contemporary art. it is more preferable to say the part of context of all periods, how it will develop in the next decade, now we have a good context for different art institutions, europe and america, asia, continuing, joint projects. we have a connection between artists and galleries. i think it will be developing actively. >> they call almaty the city of parks. it is beautifully grained and there are parks everywhere. perhaps the most famous park is this park. we took a walk from the mayor's office with our guide. >> the central place is the squaran memorial of the 28 guardians. this war memorial was made to
pay tribute to the warriors who died defending the mosque in 1941. >> we have the moral at the far end, the eternal flame. d, the left, those dates symbolize what? >> starting from 1917 to 1920, honoring the heroes of the civil war. 1941 until 1945 symbol the contribute to world war ii. >> i understand as well this is a popular spot for young people who are just married to come. >> very popular. you notice right. every marriage that takes place in almaty has an almost obligated point in the program to visit this place to make a happy photograph and to pay
tribute to the heroes. >> opposite the memorial at is the famous cathedral. >> this is the oldest and most important church for the russian christians in kazakhstan. this church was built by a famous architect, an important for our city. this church was built in 1937 -- 1907. these are the traditional materials of russian architecture. it is made of wood and stone. the style is similar to the cathedral in moscow. >> we talked to many people in kazakhstan and consistently found pride, optimism, and a good sense of humor. >> how old are you? >> 19. >> so you are kind of a growing up with independence? >> yes, yes.
>> 20 years. what does the word "freedom" mean to you? >> i know liberty and freedom. i love the word liberty. >> what does that mean to you? >> it means a number of opportunities, but also responsible. >> i love your definition of linking definition with opportunity and also a responsibility at the same time. are you optimistic about where the country is headed? >> yes, i am proud of my country. i want to stay here. i do not want to go away because i love this country. i think if we can build an economy without oil, we can
build a great country. i think we will do that. >> you just used a phrase that i love so much, "i love my kazakhstan." that is a lovely phrase. i just have one last question. what would you have americans know about, it's down? -- kazakhstan? >> i do not really know. it is a great country like other countries, pakistan, afghanistan, and tajikistan. america knows the there are some great countries in central asia. we are very little compared to them. >> were you able to laugh at what he did or were you angry? >> it is normal.
borat is the opinion of sacha baren-cohen. it is the view from americans, not context on. ok, borat. no problem. >> you are pretty well known here as a television personality, singer, host of various events. what is it like to be a celebrity in context and -- kazakhstan? >> being a celebrity, i am recognized everywhere. people say hello. this is one point. the second point is, being a celebrity, i do not like to
savor my status of celebrity, although that may sound in modest. i love to be a celebrity in the republic of kazakhstan. >> this is our first time in almaty. tell me about the city. >> >> i was born and bred in almaty. i love the city, the mountains, the open people, the hospitable people. i think we have very beautiful people as well as beautiful nature and environment. . >> we hear almaty is a cultural center, science center, how
about entertainment center? what do people do here for entertainment? >> almaty is the center of entertainment. we have opera, drama theaters, movie theaters. we have night clubs. people go there. if a person feels like entertaining themselves, this list could go on forever. >> what would you have americans know about, it's done? tell them, what would you have them know about kazakhstan? >> take a look at me. i have shining eyes and a shining smile. this is because we have 20 years of independence. we have been progressing well.
the general success of the country has given me my smile, my eyes, my general outlook. so if someone comes here, they will be cordially welcome. they will see the happy people of our country. >> i was invited to do an interview for the television network. the host injured your has his own program about kazakhstan. after showing me around, i had the opportunity to sit and interview him. >> you have got a bit of an accent. where are you from? >> northern england. >> how did you end up in context on as a broadcaster? >> quite a long story, so i will not bore you with that. i came here about six years ago after the orange revolution in
the ukraine, in fact. since then, i became involved in broadcasting with the channel here. we have just moved on from that. >> tell me about the program that you do. >> i have a program which is essentially like a pop travel documentary, the people of kazakhstan. each episode focuses on one particular aspect of life. it might be visiting markets are going to a tourist attraction. so there are different aspects, but we focus on unscripted discussion with local people and looking at local things. >> what is your take on kazakhstan and the people? having been here for a bit? >> kazakhstan has an amazing future. that is very clear from everything you can see around
you. i have been here six years. during those six years, i have seen immense changes. not just in the usual indicators like the economy, the growth of the government or anything like that, but just in the people, the way that they live, the changes are evident. as far as the people are concerned, i am sure you would agree with me having seen them yourself, very hospitable people, mixed culturally, and very friendly. in six years, i have not seen any problems whatsoever. >> that is an amazing statement. >> amazing. >> you are blessed to have this opportunity here. >> thank you, yes. i do recognize that. this is a great opportunity to discover kazakhstan, to see a new culture at work and to see a new culture in growth. the changes here are absolutely immense. the place changes all the time.